15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend (March 23-26)

Fan Expo Cleveland comes to the Convention Center and John Mayer plays Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Kenny Wayne Shepherd. - Mark Seliger
Mark Seliger
Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 03/23
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

This blues singer-guitarist's 1998 sophomore effort, Trouble Is..., became an immediate hit and went platinum, yielding such radio hits as "Blue on Black," "True Lies" and "Somehow, Somewhere, Someway" and establishing Shepherd as a blues superstar. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Shepherd will play the album in its entirety at tonight's show at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. The concert begins at 7:30.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

The Cleveland International Film Festival continues its in-person, 11-day run at Playhouse Square today with a full slate of screenings and panel discussions. Check the website for a complete schedule for the festival, which continues at Playhouse Square through April 1.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, clevelandfilm.org.

Key Glock
Memphis rapper Key Glock had a hit right out of the gates with his 2017 debut, Glock Season, which yielded the single “On My Soul." Since then, he has delivered four solo mixtapes as well as Dum and Dummer, a collaborative effort with Young Dolph. With support from fellow Memphis native Big Scarr, Key Glock performs tonight at 7 at House of Blues.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

Rocky LaPorte
In 1988, Rocky LaPorte quit his day job as a truck driver to become a professional comedian. Turned out to be a good move. LaPorte hasn't forgotten his roots and, in his standup routines, he makes simple observations about the oddities of life.  A knack for the simple observation makes LaPorte's material stand out from the pack of other truck drivers-turned-comics. He performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Check the Hilarities website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

FRI 03/24
The Appearance of Art

A Cleveland native, chef and artist Roger von Golling debuts his first-ever art exhibit with the help of fellow chef Gary Thomas. An opening party takes place today and tomorrow from 4 to 9 p.m. at Sixty Bowls Gallery.
3125 Detroit Ave., sixtybowls.com.

As You Like It
Great Lakes Theatre presents this Shakespeare play that takes place in the Forest of Arden, where a disguised Rosalind seeks refuge after her uncle has banished her. Performances take place tonight at 7:30 at the Hanna Theatre, where performances continue through April 8.
2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Cleveland Home & Remodeling Show
Exhibitors who can help you rebuild your garage or remodel your home will be on hand today for the Cleveland Home & Remodeling Show. The event takes place from noon to 9 p.m. today at the I-X Center, and it continues through Sunday.
1 I-X Center Dr., 216-676-6000, ixcenter.com.

Sammy DeLeon Latin Jazz Sextet
A master timbales player, Sammy DeLeon has appeared in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Juan and many points in between. Formerly the musical director of Impacto Nuevo, he's led his own group since 1996. Equally adept in Latin jazz, salsa and merengue, DeLeon is a local treasure. Tonight at 8 at Market Garden Brewery, this local Latin jazz band plays a special concert to celebrate spring. Tickets cost $15.
1947 West 25th St., 216-621-4000, marketgardenbrewery.com.

Fan Expo Cleveland

This show, which started as Wizard World Cleveland in 2015, has featured celebrities and creators such as Stan Lee, Chris Hemsworth, Jason Momoa, Tom Welling, Ian Somerhalder, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, William Shatner and many more. This year's show, which takes place today through Sunday at the Huntington Convention Center, will feature panels, demos and workshops.
500 Lakeside Ave., 216-928-1600, fanexpohq.com/fanexpocleveland.

Flanagan's Wake
No one knows grief and mourning like a Catholic, let alone an Irish Catholic. Now in its eighth year in Cleveland, Flanagan's Wake transports the audience to an Irish wake where villagers tell tales and sing songs for their dearly departed Flanagan. Finding the humor in life and death, the wake acts as a dark backdrop to an otherwise hilarious show in which alcohol fuels the humorous reminiscing. Sort of like a tragic Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding, the interactive and improvised show engages the entire audience as the guests are treated as the friends and family of the deceased. Tonight's show starts at 8 and repeats tomorrow night at 8 at Kennedy's Cabaret.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Happy Endings
The Happy Endings resident DJ crew — NicNacc, Eso and Theo — will spin tonight at 27 Club Coffee, which will offer a special curated drink and food menu for the occasion. The event begins at 9 p.m.
1215 West 10th St., 216-727-0027, 27coffeeclub.com.

The Irish Tenors 25th Anniversary Tour
Since their debut some 25 years ago, the Irish Tenors have worked classic songs such as "My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic), "Fairytale of New York" (previously recorded by Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues) and Jimmy Kennedy's "South of The Border (Down Mexico Way)" into their repertoire alongside classics such as "Danny Boy," "Whiskey in the Jar" and "Fields of Athenry." Tonight at 7:30 at Connor Palace, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra joins the group for this special concert celebrating its quarter century mark.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Learning Curve Single Release Show
Tonight at 7 at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood, this local indie band celebrates the release of its new single and music video "Reaper," a Death Cab Like-like tune that seamlessly mixes piano and electric guitars into an evocative meditation on death. Formerly Candice, As Well and Jimmy Lo Fi open the show. Tickets cost $10.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

Fearless when it comes to making the audience erupt in laughter, Luenell, a comedian who left a lasting impression as the "hooker with the heart of gold" in Borat, regularly jokes about being a full-figured woman and getting married later in life. She can find humor in any topic or situation. She performs tonight at 7:30 and 10 and tomorrow night at 6:30 and 9 at the Improv Comedy Club.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Monsters vs. Toronto Marlies
The Monsters take on the Toronto Marlies tonight at 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Since it's a Friday night game, there will be $3 beers, $2 hot dogs and $1 sodas.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Toward a Different Kind of Horizon
This concert is presented free through contributions from Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Music, Center for Popular Music Studies, Baker-Nord Center for Humanities, Writers House, Department of English, African and African American Studies Program, and from Cleveland Museum of Art and the Oberlin College and Conservatory. It takes place at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

Wishgarden Album Release Show
Lead singer Tony Paparella wrote the songs on Wishgarden’s debut album when his two sons were still young. Now, after years of performing together as Wishgarden, the father-son trio has teamed with other musical friends and professionals to record these songs with a contemporary vibe. The band celebrates the album's release tonight at 7 at the Rialto Theatre in Akron. Singer-songwriter Chrissy Strong opens the show.
1000 Kenmore Blvd., Akron, 234-525-1956, rialtotheatre.com.

SAT 03/25
Tom Dark

When Robert Griffin, who now lives in Cleveland and runs the indie label Scat Records, decided to dig into the vaults to re-release songs by the Dark, a Cleveland metal/punk/Goth band from the early ’80s, on his Scat Records as a vinyl and digital download dubbed Dressing the Corpse, Dark suggested some version of the band play a release party. Griffin agreed and will reunite to play a few songs with Dark at tonight's Beachland Tavern show. Tufted Puffins, Kill the Hippies and Muzzle open at the show. It all starts at 8 p.m.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Elton John & Billy Joel Tribute
A group of musicians that calls itself Jeans n’ Classics will pay tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel with tonight's concert at Mandel Concert Hall. Expect to hear hits such as "Rocket Man," "Yellow Brick Road," "Piano Man" and "Just the Way You Are." The concert begins at 8.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

In Cahoots…an Evening of Magic and Mentalism with the Alans
The Alans are a husband and wife duo whose love story is almost as magical as their show. Jason Alan is a veteran magician and sleight of hand artist who fell in love with Stacy, a former therapist turned mentalist. They combine their skills to deliver an evening of impossibility that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From "mind-blowing illusions" to personal stories, their performance is a tantalizing mix of magic, mentalism and audience interaction. They most recently appeared on the CW’s hit show, Penn & Teller Fool Us, and they often perform nationwide. Tonight's shows take place at 7 and 9 at the Alex Theatre.
2017 East Ninth Street, 216-239-1200, alextheatercleveland.com.

Indigo Girls
The Grammy-winning folk-rock duo Indigo Girls are known for their beautifully crafted songs that "revel in spirited simplicity," as it's put in a press release. Originally released in 1989, "Closer to Fine" remains an inspiring anthem about self-awareness. The duo performs tonight at 7:30 at the Goodyear Theater in Akron.
1201 East Market St., Akron, goodyeartheater.com.

Legends of Jazz
This special show at the Kent Stage offers a tribute to jazz greats such as Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Louie Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. The concert begins at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $25.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org.

John Mayer
In the early 2000s, John Mayer established himself a singer, songwriter and guitarist of some stature. His solo albums became big hits thanks to radio fodder such as "Your Body Is a Wonderland." Then, In 2015, three former members of the Grateful Dead joined with Mayer and two other musicians to form the band Dead & Company. The group toured regularly, keeping Mayer busy until this year when he announced his solo acoustic tour. He'll perform without a band when he plays at 7:30 tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where he'll alternate between guitar and piano during his first-ever solo arena tour.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Sinfully Yours: A 20th Anniversary Burlesque Revue
This evening honoring local burlesque start Bella Sin will commence at 7 p.m. with a VIP and cocktail party at Beachland Ballroom. There will be a red carpet opening, and doors open at 7:30 p.m. for general admission ticket holders. The show will feature Ruby Rabbit, Riley Poppyseed, Erica Martinez, Ariyah Fuego Lakota Shekar, Heather and Lace along with many more local luminaries, national starlets and international stars.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Smoke Screen Album Release/Farewell Show
After celebrating its 15th anniversary last year, this local hip-hop group will play one last show at the Grog Shop before moving to L.A. Tonight's show also serves as a release party for its latest album. The concert will feature opening sets by band members' respective solo projects, Broken Keys and Mooke Da God. This is the first show to feature all three acts on one bill. Doors open at 9 p.m.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

Your Soul’s Purpose Spiritual Gathering
Today and tomorrow at RED Space, a one-of-a-kind Healing and Spiritual Expo will take place. Attendees will experience holistic healing, reiki, readings, crystals, free workshops, free mobile salt cave experience and a free happy light tent. This event is perfect to get the good vibes going as spring begins in Cleveland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both today and tomorrow. There will be over 20 unique vendors at this event. Healing and connecting is the theme of Your Soul’s Purpose Spiritual Gathering. The organizers aim to help others to find peace and healing through readings, reiki, crystals, salt cave and other experiences.
2400 Superior Ave., Facebook.com/REDSPACEEVENTS/.

SUN 03/26
Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets, one of the NBA's worst teams, come to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse tonight for a game against the Cavs that begins at 6. Expect the Cavs to get a win and hold onto their position as the fourth seed in the upcoming playoffs.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Florence Dore
A former Clevelander, singer-songwriter Florence Dore recorded her latest album with Canton-based Don Dixon and producer Mitch Easter, the same team that worked on early R.E.M. records. She and her stellar backing band perform tonight at 7:30 at the Beachland Tavern.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Jokes on You
Inspired by crowd work clinicians like Dave Attell, Ian Bagg, and Big Jay Oakerson, Jokes On You makes the audience the center of the show by "pushing comics to avoid prepared material or written jokes and instead focus on organic interaction with the audience," as it's put in a press release about this event, which takes place tonight at 7 at Hilarities in the Frolic Cabaret Room. John Bruton and Jimmie Graham host the event.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Kitten Krazy Open House Fundraiser
Today from noon to 3 p.m., Kitten Krazy, a cat shelter located in Medina, will host a special open house fundraiser. There will be a rare behind-the-scenes look at how Kitten Krazy operates. Various raffles will take place as well. The shelter seeks any of the following donations: canned cat food; clay and/or scoopable litter; bleach; and detergent. The shelter also welcomes cash donations to help in the cost for the 650+ cats that it adopts out every year. Eric “Eroc” Sosinski and Jim Tigue from the local Pink Floyd tribute act Wish You Were Here will perform throughout the event. Local rock photographer and Scene contribute Joe Kleon will also have concert photos available for sale on site as well.
930 Lafayette Rd., Medina, 330-591-4408, kittenkrazy.org.

Led by singer Xer0, who replaced the late Wayne Static shortly after his death in 2018, this hard rock band brings its Rise of the Machine tour to House of Blues. Doors open at 5 p.m.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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